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We're set for the most exciting season of domestic football in Australia's history. The 2011 A-League season kicks off on October 8 and finally some big Aussie names have decided to return to our shores and the domestic competition and I can't wait!!
After an eternity of secret meetings and phone calls, Harry Kewell has finally signed on with Melbourne Victory this week for a three-year deal. Harry will arrive in early September to begin preparations for the upcoming season.
Sydney FC was also in the hunt for Kewell but they blind-sided everyone and have announced the signing of Australia finest football ambassador Brett Emerton. The second highest capped Socceroo will join Sydney FC also on a three-year deal and I think he'll prove the better buy!!
Emerton who was born and bred in Sydney returns home after an awesome 11-year career in Europe where he played 338 matches. He has also played 87 matches for the Socceroos and represented Australia at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. He is still a vital member of the national team and has stated he is keen to be there at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Both of these blokes will earn more than all of us put together but it's just awesome having guys of this calibre back playing in Australian football. As a general sports fan who leans more towards the rugby league, aussie rules and the rugby union, I'll definitely be watching more of the A-League with these two legends playing. Emerton and Kewell's inclusion in Australian football for the next three years will definitely raise the profile of the sport, get more general sports fans through the turnstyles and attract more sponsorship.
I for one can't wait for Round 1 when Sydney FC hosts Melbourne Victory and we see these guys go head to head. I've been critical of the Football Federation of Australia in the past but this time they have made the right choice, bent the rules and put the greater good of the game before anything else by paving the way for Kewell and Emerton to return.
Bring on October 8....Will you be watching?